Commercial Law

Court summons UBA,Citibank, First Bank officials for flouting court order

A Federal High Court in Lagos has summoned three bank secretaries and Chief Financial Officers for allegedly disobeying its interim orders of January 25, 2021 directing their banks to block Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) and four of its subsidiaries’ accounts.

The banks and their officials are: Citi Bank Ltd, its Company Secretary Sola Fagbure and Chief Financial Officer, Sharaf Mohammed; First Bank of Nigeria Ltd, its Company Secretary Irene Netimah and Chief Financial Officer, Patrick Iyamabo; United Bank For Africa (UBA) Plc, its Company Secretary Bill Andrew Odum and Chief Financial Officer, Ebenezer Kolawole.

Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo ordered the officials to appear before the court at the next adjourned date.

The judge made the order while ruling on applications in a suit by Aiteo Eastern E&P Company Ltd against Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) and four others.

Aiteo is claiming about $4 billion against Shell over alleged problems with the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) pipeline it bought from the Anglo-Dutch group in 2015 and over claims that Shell under counted its oil exports.

Joined as respondents in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/52/2021, are: Royal Dutch Shell Plc; Shell Western Supply and Trading Ltd; Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd; and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd.

Justice Oguntoyinbo had granted an interim mareva injunction directing 20 commercial banks to block SPDC and its subsidiaries’ accounts.

A mareva injunction is a court order freezing a party’s assets, until the determination of a case they are invloved in, to stop them from taking it abroad.

The order was in a bid to recover the cash equivalent of more than 16 million barrels of crude oil allegedly diverted by the oil giant from AITEO Eastern E & P Company Ltd.

The court had issued the injunction barring Royal Dutch Shell’s Nigerian subsidiaries from withdrawing money at 20 local banks until it “ringfences” potential damages in a lawsuit brought against the company by Aiteo.

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